Hiring for your Start up and the importance of culture


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Presentation given by Qiuyan, CEO of Soldgers at Echelon Singapore Satellite 2013.

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  • Quick introduction of myself. Graduated…. Travelled, bummed around for 6 mths, and landed a job in GS. Left after 3.5yrs to start Sold.sg. Sold.sg is…Before I began, i'm really not an HR expert, nor did i major in Human Capital Management. In fact i didn't even graduate in business administration. So what i'm going to share today is really based on my experience in running and hiring in my start up the last 2 yrs.
  • Asking a lot of young people, and myself, why they don’t want to join start ups. Here are some reasons..
  • Perception. Ppl used where they work to represent themselves.
  • MNCs are stable. Company will probably be around 6 months down the road. They will pay. Your career paths are usually quite clear
  • Some even have dental benefits, late hours taxi and meals. Gym memberships. You get a little post it note telling ppl u are sick. Claim for doctor visits and some have insurance. Which can be expensive.
  • So most MNCs, their employees travel in style. Fly biz class… etc. For us, for our travels between MY and SG, we drive.. If were lucky, we fly. Air Asia – love their tag line.
  • Share a series of things we have done to enhance our culture. This helped with retention. The importance of branding internally. You want people to feel proud of working in your startup.
  • Impact
  • Family oriented. We care.
  • Fearful. The big boss. Not approachable. Start ups are usually quite flat, family like and team approach.
  • Meetings are often tensedHave to be PC – depending on who’s there. Us, we encourage creativity, contribution. Doesn’t matter who you are. Even interns!Townhall – where ppl suggest products if not they have to do gangnam style.Very lean, every knows what is going on.
  • This is a true story.
  • MNCs - Quick breaks. You have to sneak off.
  • Board room interviews. Where do you see yourself in 5 years? How many tv sets are there in SG? 18 rounds of interview2-way street – a more realistic insight on the person and the companyHire based on personality - We ask qns like do you like Trance, do you drink etc. It is extremely important that you can see yourself hanging out with your colleagues. Not just you, but everyone.
  • MNCs – farewell drinks. Real photo. We do the same, go zouk and partied till dawn.
  • Culture is extremely important. Come up with MVV that determines your culture - the way you work and the way you playDon't wait till the team gets back to form these things. It should established right at the start.
  • I’m not saying you have to do what we do, but before any interview, you need to ask yourselves these “fit” questions.
  • ----- Meeting Notes (2/4/13 14:46) -----Made several mistakes in our hiring journey and I'm going to share them with you.
  • Hiring for your Start up and the importance of culture

    1. 1. Hiring For Your Start-Up and the Importance ofCulture
    2. 2. PrestigeMNCs Start Ups
    3. 3. PredictabilityMNCs Start Ups
    4. 4. BenefitsMNCs Start Ups
    5. 5. SalaryMNCs Start Ups
    6. 6. TravelsMNCs Start Ups
    7. 7. HotelsMNCs Start Ups
    8. 8. BottomlineSTART UPS ARE POOR!
    9. 9. EmpowermentMNCs Start Ups
    10. 10. EnvironmentMNCs Start Ups
    11. 11. Your BossMNCs Start Ups
    12. 12. MeetingsMNCs Start Ups
    13. 13. When You Are Tired MNCs Start Ups
    14. 14. BreaksMNCs Start Ups
    15. 15. InterviewsMNCs Start Ups
    16. 16. After WorkMNCs Start Ups
    17. 17. The Soldgers Creed1) I work hard, I play harder2) My stress is balanced by my excitement3) I make things happen4) My work speaks for me (I take pride in my work)5) My every idea comes with an action plan6) I am a team player7) My team mates can trust me to get things done8) I value add9) I keep things simple10)Challenges make me feel alive (if Im not challenged, Im bored)
    18. 18. Ask Yourself Who? What? Questions?
    19. 19. Some Lessons1) Don’t hire just because the person has awesome credentials or you can be buddies2) Get referrals3) Don’t be desperate. Patience pays.4) Hire someone that believes in your vision5) Get everyone in the team to interview the person.6) Hire self motivated individuals7) Set the right expectations8) Encourage ideas & teamwork9) Listen10)And lastly….
    20. 20. HAVE FUN!